It’s now or never for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks host the 1-5 Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, marking what should be their best chance at a win without star quarterback Russell Wilson — and maybe their last chance to keep their marginal playoff hopes alive.
Jacksonville has had all sorts of issues under first-year coach Urban Meyer, who was reprimanded by the team for his “inexcusable” behavior this month after video surfaced of him at a bar with a woman who was not his wife.
The Jaguars’ 0-5 start didn’t help Meyer’s case either.
But Jacksonville did pick up their first win of the season in Week 6 with a 23-20 victory over Miami in London, snapping their 20-game losing skid.
The Jaguars were idle last week.
The details on this week’s game:
Seahawks (2-5) vs. Jaguars (1-5)
Time: 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Lumen Field
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle
Betting line: Seahawks are favored by 3 points.
Series history: Seahawks lead the all-time series, 5-3. This is the Jaguars’ first trip to Seattle since 2013. Jaguars won the last matchup, 30-24, Dec. 10, 2017, in Jacksonville.
Three things to know about the Jaguars this week:
Familiar faces return
Former Seahawks offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell and Brian Schottenheimer are among the six former Pete Carroll assistants on the Jaguars coaching staff.
“That is not by accident,” Meyer told The Associated Press this week. “It is a sign of respect for an organization and a coach.”
There are also three former Seahawks players on the Jaguars roster: cornerback Shaquill Griffin, tight end Jacob Hollister and running back Carlos Hyde. Linebacker Myles Jack, a former Bellevue High star, will play his first NFL game in Seattle.
Griffin will make his return to Seattle after signing a three-year, $44.5-million deal in the offseason.
“Being back in Seattle and seeing the guys I have not seen for a minute, I am going to love that,” Griffin said this week, via The Associated Press. “Playing in front of the 12s is going to be fun either way it plays out. I am excited. I do not think I am going to treat it any differently. I am just preparing for another team I am trying to beat, and we are trying to win. That is my main focus.
“Of course, being back in that city that taught me so much that I am still grateful for. But now it is business.”
Griffin is statistically having the best season of his career. According to Pro Football Reference, he has allowed 24 completions on 38 targets for 314 yards — with no touchdown receptions — and an opposing passer rating of 89.1. He gave up six touchdown passes and a passer rating of 93.3 with the Seahawks in 2020.
Griffin was asked about potentially shadowing DK Metcalf one-on-one Sunday.
“My main thing is I’m going to have fun with it,” Griffin said. “He knows me as a person. He knows I’m going to be out there laughing, enjoying it. And I know how he is as a player. So it’s going to be something interesting to see. Right now, we don’t have the game plan; I don’t think I’m following anybody yet, so I’m kind of looking forward to see how that goes. As of right now, it doesn’t matter who is on my side, I’m going to make it tough.”
Jacksonville’s defense, overall, ranks among the worst in the NFL. The Jaguars are 30th in yards allowed with 412.2 (just ahead of Seattle, at 414.7), 31st in passing defense (297.8) and 26th in scoring defense (28.7).
No more excuses for rookie QB
Color the Seahawks impressed with Jacksonville rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft.
“He’s talented. He’s really talented,” Carroll said Wednesday. “It’s obvious why they picked him (No. 1). He moves really well. He’s got terrific mechanics and motion. He can throw the ball on the move. He has lots of big throws in him already.”
Lawrence has thrown for 1,465 yards (59.7%) with seven TDs, eight interceptions and a 75.5 passer rating. He threw for 319 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers in the win over Miami.
“We’ve been in the system for a while and the excuse of a new system and the excuse of a young quarterback, that is all gone,” Meyer said. “The young quarterback is playing pretty good.”
The Jaguars also have one of the NFL’s more underrated running backs in James Robinson, who has 460 yards and five touchdowns and averages 5.5 yards per carry.
West Coast woes
The Jaguars have historically struggled on their West Coast trips.
They are 3-13 all-time in games played on the West Coast — and that includes an 0-3 record in Seattle.
In their past two games in Seattle, the Jaguars have been outscored 86-17. The Seahawks won 45-17 in 2013 and 41-0 in 2009.